Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike helped Al Ain fans quickly forget the loss of talisman Asamoah Gyan by scoring twice on his debut in a 4-2 win over Al Nasr to lift the Arabian Gulf Super Cup.
Emenike produced a performance of tireless running on a hot night in Abu Dhabi on Saturday and was rewarded with two goals after finishing off moves from close range as the league champions proved they are still the team to beat in the UAE.
That was in doubt when Ghana skipper Gyan was sold to Shanghai SIPG in the close season after a prolific four-year spell with the club but Emeniki, on loan from Turkish club Fenerbahce, showed there was no need to pine after the departed.
New Al Ain signing Ryan Babel also impressed, the former Liverpool and Ajax Amsterdam winger setting up the 28-year-old Nigerian's first goal with a selfless assist.
Al Ain kick-off the defence of their Arabian Gulf League title on Friday at home to Al Dhafra.